When I was a little girl, daffodils were my favorite flowers. I couldn’t imagine anything prettier or more cheerful than those sunny yellow petals surrounding a frilly trumpet cup of orange, white, or yellow again.
I drew them, crafted them from construction paper, and when I was old enough, I planted them.
Now, as I look over the borders and around the garden fence, I’m once again reminded of how much daffodils (scientifically, Narcissus sp.) add to our spring landscape.
After the blooms fade, the foliage remains green for weeks. It doesn’t bother me much, though it tends to hang on a bit longer than I’d like. The wisdom is to let the foliage yellow before removing; but I have to admit that I’ve been known to cut back those strappy leaves when they interfere with the other border flowers.
I am surprised at how many varieties we have growing here. I remember planting some of them, and some “came with the house.”
Now is the best time to plan your fall bulb order. Take a walk around your yard and consider what you already have, where you can add more daffodils, and what varieties will do the best in particular parts of your landscape.
You can also plan out the bloom times of different varieties, so that your narcissus show lasts as long as possible.
Here’s a sample of what’s been blooming. These varieties are ordered by bloom time.
Our first daffodil each spring is the popular ‘Carlton.’ This year, it has continued blooming from March through early May!
Carlton is a large cup daffodil, which means that it has that beautiful, classic cup. It’s yellow color looks stunning against a brown fence, and it adapts to clay heavy soils.
Even after enduring several snowfalls, it continues to glow in the spring border.
Zones 4-8, Ht. 13-18,” early spring. Division 2, large cup.
Tete-a-tete is a miniature daffodil that forms mounding clumps of flowers and foliage in just a few years.
These little gems bloom early in the season, and their smaller stature makes them ideal for containers or the front of the border.
Zones 4-8, Ht. 0.50 to 0.75″ Early spring. Division 14 – Miniature.
This daffodil forms large clumps in our front borders, where it gets the full sun. A mid-spring bloomer, it draws attention and compliments as people walk by. Little do they know, once it’s planted, this daffodil requires no attention from us!
Zones 3-8, Ht.13-18,” mid-spring. Division 2, large cup.
Red Devon offers another classic daffodil shape with show-stopping color. The cup is deep orange, almost red. The petals are a bright, clear yellow. Plant this one in a spot that you want to stand out, because it certainly will!
Zones 3-9, Ht.14-18,” Mid-spring. Division 2, large cup.
Mount Hood is a white daffodil, with a frilly, large cup. It looks especially striking against a dark background like bark mulch or evergreens. The flowers bloom here at the same time as Merel’s Favorite and Red Devon. The three varieties make a vibrant garden display in April.
Zones 3-6, Ht.13-18,” Mid-spring. Division 1, trumpet.
This beauty is planted at the edge of our yard, up against a woodland. It gets full sun, though, because it blooms before the trees leaf out.
The blooms fade more quickly than some of the other species, but while they are blooming, it’s hard to beat these extravagant double flowers.
Zones 4-8, Ht.12-18,” Late spring. Division 4, double.
This romantic bloom is an heirloom narcissus species. It has pure white, rounded petals surrounding a small, red-rimmed cup. This is one of the last daffodils to bloom for us, and it is definitely worth the wait!
Zones 3-7, Ht.13-18,” Late spring. Division 9 – Poeticus.
These beautiful daffodils open up and stay pure white. Each stem sports multiple blooms. We have ours growing under some trees, and they bloom at the same time as the sparkly blue periwinkle. A perfect match!
They have a soft perfume that is so welcome at this time of year.
Zones 4-9, Ht.13-16,” Late spring. Division 5 – Triandus.
Last (in bloom time) is the happy ‘Sun Disc’ Narcissus. The soft yellow, rounded petals surround a lemon yellow, frilled cup. An added bonus? They smell wonderful.
Zones 4-9, Ht. 7-12,” Late spring. Division 14 – Miniature.
Don’t Wait to Take Your Daffodil Inventory
Now that you’ve seen a few of the hundreds of varieties of daffodils, think about how you can fill in, extend your spring bloom-time, and add some zing to your flower borders. Don’t wait until fall to think about spring bulbs; they’ll be a distant memory come September!
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